Original Post: Star Thief
Style: American IPA
Brew Date: March 23, 2013
Tasting Date: October 7, 2014
The carbonation is very high on this beer. I’m getting used to this from doing these old beer tasting notes, but the idea that homebrew that has aged for a year or more is continuing to ferment and carbonate in the bottle still seems strange to me. As far as I can tell, though, this is the last bottle of this beer in existence, so I guess I can’t do much testing on it right now.
The beer is very clear and looks like an American Pale Ale. IPA’s are often lighter in color… though definitely not always. This one is not. It is by no means dark, but it is definitely more towards the honey or amber color range than the yellow or blonde range.
As is expected with the high carbonation, there is a lot of head. I have taken a while to write this, and while it has started to die down, there is still a good amount left. Despite the age, there is still a slight bit of Centennial and Galaxy hop aroma. Though it is faint, the fruitiness of the Galaxy hops are still present. The Centennial is even more subtle. Some citrus aroma is present, though.
With a sip, the age becomes more evident. There is some serious wet cardboard oxidation character. A faint bit of the hops is still there, though it is mainly bitterness, it is still the one redeeming quality here.
Behind all of that, there is some malt character. It is more biscuity than bready. It is very dry, not Crystal Malt sweetness, though the over carbonation may have contributed to the dryness. I don’t remember what the recipe for this beer was and I’m going to refrain from looking so that it hopefully won’t influence my tasting notes.
Anyway, this is not very good. I don’t remember it being great when it was fresh, but as expected for an IPA, it has only gotten worse with age. The hops are still present, which could be slightly surprising, but they are greatly diminished.
Beyond the oxidation character, there is the original problem with the beer. I remember it being a bit soapy and that is still there in the background. It actually fits into the wet cardboard character, though. Not in a pleasant, complimentary sense, just in the fact that the cardboard covers it a bit and makes it less obvious. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but in this case, they don’t multiply each other, either.
There are two big lessons to be learned here. The first is: don’t skimp on your sanitizer. Star San is worth the money. Following cleaning procedures are essential. The second is: don’t save your IPA for a year or more. Drink it fresh. These should both be obvious, but don’t take them for granted.